The Best Albums of the Carter Presidency

An interesting thing happened to the music industry in the 1970s. Large corporations discovered that impressive sums of money could be made off of music-loving teenagers. Of course, that created a conundrum: rock music was supposed to be fighting the man, not working for him. Thus the underground music scene was born.

By the time Jimmy Carter took the oath of office on January 20, 1977, the albums dominating the critics' "best of" lists had begun to look a little different from the albums on the "best-selling" lists. That doesn't hold true across the board, mind you, but underground bands were being recognized more and more as the ones producing the best music. The top ten from the years that President Carter was in office demonstrate how the underground music scene was beginning to reshape music. But first, the honorable mentions:

Animals, Pink Floyd; Talking Heads:77, Talking Heads; Rocket to Russia, Ramones; Peter Gabriel III (Melt), Peter Gabriel; My Aim is True, Elvis Costello; Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), David Bowie; Ace of Spades, Motörhead; Los Angeles, X; Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division; Van Halen, Van Halen; The River, Bruce Springsteen; Back in Black, AC/DC; Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Dead Kennedys.

10. Highway to Hell - AC/DC

The favorite whipping boy of anti-rock and roll preachers throughout the eighties, Highway to Hell is a great example of gritty rhythm and blues-influenced rock and roll. After drinking himself to death less than a year after the album's release, the title track "Highway to Hell" became an apropos eulogy for Bon Scott.

9. Some Girls - The Rolling Stones

In 2017, as The Rolling Stones continue to slog through a worldwide tour, it's hard to imagine that people considered the rock band old and washed up in 1978. In the six years after Exile to Main Street, people began to consider The Rolling Stones past their prime — many said they were finished. Some Girls proved the doubters wrong.